PDA

View Full Version : 2008 Chevy Aveo


Valentine One Radar Detector

Eric
03-07-2008, 09:13 AM
How "economical" is a $13k-15k economy car? That's the going rate for most of them - which is why the $10k Chevy Aveo comes across as much more sensible.

The Aveo - available as a sedan or 5-door hatchback - is in fact the least expensive new subcompact sedan/hatchback on the market. And by a considerable margin, too. The base price of Honda's Fit is $13,950. The Toyota Yaris sedan starts at $12,225. Civics and Corollas are in the mid-high teens and up. The most impecunious Kia - the Spectra sedan- begins at $12,895. (Hyundai's Accent coupe starts out at $10,775 but it's a coupe; the Accent sedan begins at $12,925.)

Ok, so the Aveo's bargain priced. That's beyond debate.

But is it, in fact, a bargain?

ENGINES & PERFORMANCE

Just one engine powers either version of the Aveo - a 1.6 liter DOHC four cylinder that musters up 103 hp. It is comparable to what you'll find in potential competitors like the Fit (1.5 liters, 109 hp) and Yaris (1.5 liters, 106 hp) and backed by your choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transaxle. The optional automatic transmission has a helpful second-gear start feature to help deal with slick surfaces.

Like most subcompacts, the Aveo is front-wheel-drive.

This is a pretty light car at 2,343 lbs. for the tested Aveo5 hatchback (about 100 pounds less than the Fit and about 60 pounds more than the Yaris) so the 103 horsepower engine delivers acceptable acceleration. It'll reach 60 mph in about 10 seconds, give or take a tenth. That might not be considered especially quick - relative to what's quick today. But it's vastly superior to the routine 15 second (or longer) 0-60 heaves that used to be your lot if you drove an economy subcompact.

The Aveo's not a tire-fryer, but it easily keeps up with traffic - even pretty high-speed traffic. Third gear is good for more than 90 mph at redline. In fourth, you can hit 100-plus, easily. And you've still got one more gear to go.

No Chevette, Pinto or Early Era econo-box from Japan could come close to matching that level of performance.

RIDE & HANDLING

Given its $10k entry price point, you'd expect - well, not much - when it comes to either ride or handling. But as with power/acceleration, modern economy cars have come a long way in both the ride and handling departments, baby. If you haven't driven one in a few years, you will be just as surprised by how substantial feeling, quiet and smooth (for a car of this type) the Aveo is as you will be impressed by its power/acceleration capability.

For instance: You won't feel the aftershocks of every pothole for several minutes after you hit it; the shocks/struts effectively isolate road harshness better than some of the middle-priced cars of the not-so-long-ago past. Windows don't rattle, the doors don't feel like they're made of Reynold's Wrap - and you can't hear the road rushing underneath the floorpans (a common "feature" of pre-modern econo-boxes).

STYLING & UTILITY

It's your basic econo-box. Not ugly - but no looker, either. (Then again, what car is at this price point?)

The important thing is it's not embarrassing to be seen in. The interior is a little austere - but (again) that is part of the territory at $10k. The sedan's inside is nicer, having been restyled a little bit and now featuring some nice touches such as moveable arm rests and some bright metallic trim pieces here and there. However, the pass-through from the second row to the trunk area is partially obstructed by what looks like structural bracing that limits the size of what you can carry. The Aveo5 hatchback may have a more spartan interior layout - but it also has almost triple the cargo-carrying capacity (42 cubic feet vs. the sedan's appx. 12.5 cubic feet).

Both versions have serviceable back seats that can be used to carry people or stuff.

QUALITY/SAFETY

The Aveo is actually built by Korean automaker (and GM partner) Daewoo - which no longer sells cars under its own nameplate here in the U.S. While Daewoo didn't do so well - for a variety of reasons, including some reported issues with build quality - the Aveo has been trucking along for several years now with a solid record to show for itself. Honda and Toyota may have a better reputation - but they cost considerably more and (in the case of Toyota, at least) the reputation for very high quality may be more historically accurate than currently applicable.

This car also comes standard with side-impact air bags for the front seat passengers - a pleasant surprise in a car with a base price of $10,235. Anti-lock brakes are available, but extra cost.

Though subcompacts are at an inherent disadvantage in a crash relative to otherwise similar (but larger/heavier) cars, the Aveo is pretty safe for what it is - earning top (or close to top) scores in both government and insurance industry crash testing.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

I have a theory that modern economy cars can be more fun to drive really hard than modern sporty/high-performance cars. Reason? The limits of the economy car are much more accessible. You can drive a car like the Aveo flat-out, to literally within an inch of its absolute maximum capabilities - at still-reasonable speeds on public roads. This is virtually impossible to do in a modern high-performance car - whose limits are so high you have to be really pushing it to even come close to sampling what the car is capable of.

I found myself having a good time in the Aveo; the gear ratios of the 5-speed manual are pretty widely spaced - which makes the car feel like its got some real legs to it (90-plus mph at the top of third gear). It was also amusing to throw the thing into a corner at full tilt, which did not involve Big Speed (and thus neither serious risk to life and limb or driving record, if a cop turned up).

And just poking around, it turned out to be a friendly, easy-to-live with companion with a quiet, comfortable ride that was easy on gas and without any major flaws I could see.

You can add a lot of stuff to this car if you want to - such as leather trim, sunroof, fog lamps, rear spoiler and 15-inch wheels. But that kind of seems contrary to the purpose. Air conditioning is probably the one big extra that most people would want to have that's not included in the as it sits $10k Aveo. But it is included with the higher-trim LS, which begins at $12,020 for the Aveo5 hatchback.

That's still cheaper than the base price of either the Fit or the Yaris or the Spectra or the Accent sedan - the Aveo's most obvious competitors.

I'd say that makes it a bargain - not just bargain-priced.

END

Kwozzie1
03-07-2008, 11:44 PM
Marketed here in Oz as the Holden Barina...I think.



Chevys and Holdens ain't Chevys and Holdens any more
They're Daewoos............Woo hoo!! ;D ;D

Not sure I would buy one as I see a lot of not so old Daewoos and they look really old....terrible paintwork.

I think Hyundai is probably better all round

swamprat
03-08-2008, 07:12 PM
QUALITY/SAFETY


This car also comes standard with side-impact air bags for the front seat passengers - a pleasant surprise in a car with a base price of $10,235. Anti-lock brakes are available, but extra cost.

END


Huh?? Airbags a pleasant surprise? LOL.

The pleasant surprise here is that the car, like mine, does not have those stupid antilock brakes that do absolutely nothing under normal driving conditions. If you have to use those, you're driving incorrectly.

Eric
03-09-2008, 08:39 AM
QUALITY/SAFETY


This car also comes standard with side-impact air bags for the front seat passengers - a pleasant surprise in a car with a base price of $10,235. Anti-lock brakes are available, but extra cost.

END


Huh?? Airbags a pleasant surprise? LOL.

The pleasant surprise here is that the car, like mine, does not have those stupid antilock brakes that do absolutely nothing under normal driving conditions. If you have to use those, you're driving incorrectly.


Ack - you're right.. I fell into the trap of going with the flow. Without air bags the Aveo would be under $10k - and weigh less/get better mileage, too....

Unfortunately, GM has to install them, per federal law.

Disco Man
03-10-2008, 04:16 AM
Just put this article on the main page:

http://www.ericpetersautos.com/home/images/stories/automotive/chevrolet/aveo/08aveo-b.jpg


http://www.ericpetersautos.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=478&Itemid=10848